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Police and Crime Commissioner elections - 5 May 2016 (29/04/16)

With the Police and Crime Commissioner elections for West Yorkshire taking place on the 5th of May, the West Yorkshire Police Branch of UNISON felt it appropriate to write to all of the candidates asking for them to respond to a set of questions which we feel are both relevant and important to our members.

The answers, as they are received, will be published on both our website
www.wyp-unison.org.uk or our Facebook page Unison West Yorkshire Police. (See list below)

Note: The West Yorkshire Police Branch of UNISON has not endorsed or supported any candidates in the elections nor will we be giving advice or guidance on who to vote for and therefore remain politically neutral during these elections.

  • Mark Burns Williamson pdf        Labour Party
  • Peter Allan Corkindale  pdf       UK Independence Party (UKIP)
  • Allan Joseph Doherty                    Conservative Party
  • Barry Stewart Golton                    Liberal Democrats
  • Therese Hirst   pdf                     English Democrats

No let up in serious crime rise, says UNISON (21/04/16)

Responding to official figures released today (Thursday 21 April 2016) that show serious crime is still rising, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The reduction in resources for police forces was bound to have consequences for crime, as these new figures show.

“Government cuts to budgets have meant almost a third fewer police community
support officers and a fifth fewer police staff, since 2010.

“With a much smaller police presence on the streets, it’s no wonder today’s figures show
sexual offences, violent crime and knife crime are all up.

“Rather than cut resources, ministers should be investing in neighbourhood policing.
Police forces need more skilled and specialist crime fighting staff to protect the public
and the communities they live in.”

NOTES TO EDITORS: - Today’s ONS crime statistics are available on the ONS website. - The police recorded crime figures presented relate to notifiable offences recorded during the year ending December 2015. - There are now 30% fewer police community support officers, and 20% fewer police staff than in 2010. Police officer numbers are down 13%. - Statistics for police force strengths are available from the Home Office.

UNISON welcomes government change of heart over check-off (19/04/16)

Commenting on the announcement in the Lords today (Tuesday) that the government is no longer to stop unions from collecting members’ subs via their pay packets, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“There’s much that’s wrong with the Trade Union Bill, but banning unions from using the check-off system to collect membership fees from employees in the public sector was among the most mean-spirited of all its proposals.

“But thanks to a good deal of union campaigning behind the scenes, UNISON and the TUC have built an effective coalition in the Lords that persuaded the government a ban would be both unjustified and unnecessary.

“Now at least UNISON can concentrate on campaigning to protect public sector employees at work and the services they deliver, safe in the knowledge that it will not have to spend the next year running around workplaces with direct debit forms for fear of losing much of its income.

“Employers and unions across the public sector will have breathed a collective sigh of relief at today’s news that there has been a sensible change of heart in Westminster. And there’s no cost to the public purse as a result of this decision.”

 

Campaign to keep Probation public

UNISON is campaigning to protect the probation service in England and Wales.

The government proposes to break up the service and privatise the essential public protection work that our members carry out. Probation must remain a public service, working with other local public sector providers and being democratically accountable to local communities.

Probation Works: 13 November 2013 Bulletin

Probation Works: 29 October 2013 Bulletin

 

Launch of UNISON's 'Stop Police Privatisation' Campaign
UNISON's 'Stop Police Privatisation' Campaign is launched this week with the publication of campaign materials and the creation of dedicated pages on the UNISON web-site giving information and advice to branches and the public.

You can see the see the campaign materials here.

 

Why Privatising the Police is Wrong
West Midlands and Surrey Police, under guidance from the Home Office, have advertised contracts worth £1.5 billion to run policing services in both forces. Most other forces in England and Wales have expressed an interest in the contract. This privatisation is being pushed by the coalition government on purely ideological and cost-cutting grounds. It is the people of West Midlands and Surrey who will suffer initially from the consequences of poorer services, as private companies cut-back to increase profit. And as more forces follow in their footsteps, we will all suffer.

Why privatising the police is wrong:
  • It is all about cost-cutting not improving the service to the public. The privatisation proposals for West Midlands and Surrey are driven by the government's 20% cuts to policing and will be based on even more cuts to services so the companies can make a profit.
  • There is no competent business case for the proposals. The Home Office has refused to reveal its business case for this privatisation. Why? Is this because it won't stand up to public scrutiny? In West Midlands and Surrey the two police authorities have agreed to start the competition without seeing a proper business case either and we believe that this means that they are in breach of their duty to local tax payers.
  • There is no evidence that the private sector provides value for money. None of the previous experiments with police privatisation has provided value for money; in fact, no force has yet dared to release the performance data of its private contractors. Where is the evidence that the private sector can run policing more efficiently than police forces?
  • The people of West Midlands and Surrey have not been consulted. Neither the West Midlands, nor Surrey police authority has consulted the communities they serve on whether they want this privatisation. There is no evidence that either community supports the proposals that are being rushed through before the election of police and crime commissioners in November.
  • Privatisation threatens democracy. Will a newly elected police and crime commissioner for West Midlands or Surrey be able to halt these proposals when elected in November? If the answer is no, because a private sector bidder could sue for damages for money spent on the bidding process, then the government's claim that police and crime commissioners will be all-powerful local politicians will be in tatters.
  • Police accountability will suffer. Private companies running the police are accountable to shareholders, not local citizens. Commercial decisions will over-ride community priorities. Citizens cannot complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about a private company in the same way they can about their police force.
  • Chief police officers will lose operational control. At the moment a chief constable has a flexible, adaptable workforce which can be mobilised at a moment's notice to deal with whatever emergency arises. If policing is privatised, what gets delivered is what's in the contract. If it's not in the contract it won't get done; or if it does, only at enormous cost.

Police Staff - you work to protect the community - who protects you?

Recruitment LeafletJoining UNISON gives you the strong protection you need working for the police service.

Download our latest leaflet and application form here.

 

 

 

 

Cut crime not police staff

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